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Olive Branch

Trip Planner USA  /  Mississippi  /  Olive Branch
Olive Branch is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi. The population was 33,484 at the 2010 census. Olive Branch is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee and is part of the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region that consists of three counties in southwest Tennessee, five counties in northwest Mississippi, and two counties in eastern Arkansas. From 1990 to 2010 Olive Branch was the fastest growing city in the United States with a growth rate of 838%. Along with other rapidly growing suburbs in DeSoto County, Olive Branch attributes most of its growth and development to the exodus of large numbers of middle-class families from central Memphis.Geography and climateOlive Branch is located at in northeastern DeSoto County, less than 5mi from Memphis at the junction of U.S. Route 78, and State Highways 302 and 305 . The city's northern border is the Mississippi/Tennessee state line. The city of Southaven borders Olive Branch on the west, and unincorporated areas border the city to the east and south.According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3sqmi, of which 36.2sqmi is land and 0.1sqmi is water.HistoryThe first permanent Anglo settlers in the area were Stephen Flinn and his wife's brother-in-law, Milton Blocker. On April 13, 1836, they purchased 1280acre of land – known as Sections 34 and 35 – in newly created DeSoto County from Chickasaw chief Lush-Pun-Tubby for $1,600. Flinn conveyed the land to Blocker for $6,400 in 1840. A small community initially known as Cowpens sprang up in the early 1840s. The name was changed to Watson's Crossroads in 1842. In 1846, when a post office was established, the name was changed again to Olive Branch. Mrs. Frances Wilson Blocker, a descendant of one the community's founders, suggested the name as a way to symbolize the biblical story of a dove bringing a branch to Noah. With the exception of a few skirmishes occurring in an area southwest of the community, Olive Branch escaped much of the destruction and violence during the Civil War.
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